by Jerry Richardson 8/4/14
The most heinous possible lie is a rewrite of history. I don’t mean correcting an actual mistake; I mean intentionally changing actual history. And changing it for self-serving reasons; that’s rewriting history.
Who now is attempting this? Another of the usual suspects, a liberal “professor.”
“Professor Danielle Allen, at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, has proposed a closer reading of the Declaration of Independence in order to prove that the country was intended to be socialist all along.
“Note the punctuation after the phrase “and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson seemed to put a semicolon there. Some think he put a period and/or a dash. Professor Allen thinks there was a dash only and that a speck of ink landed in the empty space, and subsequently people thought – incorrectly – that the speck was a period. This led, in her dramatic verdict, to a “serious misunderstanding.”
‘The professor’s point, however, is that if there is no period, then government’s role is one of those truths we hold to be self-evident.
Everyone agrees that the Founding Fathers were intent on making the government as limited as possible, leaving each person free to pursue his own version of happiness. This professor thinks that giving some extra prestige to government, by manipulating the punctuation, increases the socialist possibilities.” —Princeton Professor
Here we have an absurd attempt to rewrite history: Make the Declaration of Independence support socialism; and how?
“Professor Allen thinks there was a dash only and that a speck of ink landed in the empty space, and subsequently people thought – incorrectly – that the speck was a period. This led, in her dramatic verdict, to a “serious misunderstanding.”
Well so what? Even if we take the Shakespearian approach: “Out, damn’d spot!” Even if the period were just a spot of splattered-ink, followed by a dash, it would actually make no difference in the proper and historical interpretation of what follows the rights clause: in all cases the words, “that to secure these right (or ends).” The word these is a demonstrative pronoun (“Demonstrative pronouns are used to replace specific people or things that have been previously mentioned (or are understood from context.”).
Incidentally, the photocopy of “The opening of the original printing of the Declaration, printed on July 4, 1776 under Jefferson’s supervision” seems clearly to show (take a look for yourself) two dashes (a long one followed by a short one) which correctly described would not be a “dash”, but what is today called an “em dash” (an extended dash).
—Wikipedia, Photocopy, opening of the original printing of the Declaration of Independence
Definition, “em dash: A symbol (—) used in writing and printing to indicate a break in thought or sentence structure, to introduce a phrase added for emphasis, definition, or explanation, or to separate two clauses.” —em dash
Someone really has to be straining extra hard—attempting to rewrite history—to interpret the clause “That to secure these rights (or ends)” refers to anything other than the rights enumerated in the preceding rights clause. And of course someone, Professor Allen, is straining extra hard in her attempt to support her favored ideology: Socialism.
Is it possible for anyone to actually believe that Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers wanted to institute an intrusive socialist government?
You might think not. Think again. It is obviously possible for a liberal to willfully believe anything, if it supports their ideology.
After fighting for freedom from the abuses of King George III’s government, the founding fathers wanted a very limited government; and a very limited government is absolutely never a socialist government. Wasn’t then; isn’t now; won’t be in the future.
Does it seem likely that a man, Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence, and expressed the following sentiments, would support socialism in any manner?
“…a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government…”
““Our wish is that…[there may be] maintained that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry or that of this fathers.”
“”To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association–‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'”
—Jefferson on Redistribution
Thomas Jefferson leaves no doubt, for an honest explorer of history—can Professor Allen qualify?—that he did not believe that the United States was established to forcible take from some to give to others. This, redistribution, is what Barack Obama, Professor Allen, and others of their ilk wish to force on America; and it is socialism to the core.
What follows are several different printed variations of the pertinent part, for our discussion, of the Declaration of Independence.
Please notice that after the disputed punctuation, which I list and highlight in all cases, there always follows the words, “that to secure these rights (or ends).”
The disputed punctuation = . (period)
“…with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men,”
— The Final Text of the Declaration of Independence July 4 1776
The disputed punctuation = ; (semicolon)
“…they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men,”
—Thomas Jefferson’s unedited draft of the Declaration of Independence
The disputed punctuation = — (em dash, extended hyphen)
“…with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men,”
—The Declaration of Independence used by US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The disputed punctuation = : (colon)
“…with inherent and certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness: that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;”
—Jefferson, Thomas (2012-08-15). The Works of Thomas Jefferson (Kindle Locations 5282). Lexicos Publishing
The disputed punctuation = . (period, followed by new paragraph)
“…with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,”
—Wikipedia, Annotated text of the engrossed Declaration
Why do I say that the most heinous possible lie is a rewrite of history?
It is the ultimate degree of totalitarian control over a society.
George Orwell stated it best in his novel, 1984: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
© 2014, Jerry Richardson